filed under: community & partnership development
Prepared by Mary A. Hanson and Kandee Haertel
The future ability of people to enjoy and keep horses in open spaces will hinge largely on the efforts of today's equestrian users. What is the alternative? Loss of trails for equestrians. Now is the time to get organized!
The crisis of diminishing access to land and trails can be lessened by equestrian trails advocacy groups. They empower and coordinate individuals to take action and make their united voices heard.
These groups are by nature grassroots and distinct, offering a means for preserving and creating equestrian trails where no one else would be concerned. Who better understands the issues and reaps the benefits than the direct user group? Their power lies in the simplicity and integrity of their mission, their passion for their endeavors, and their clear vision of the task before them. Their power is in being practical and focused, growing to become a strong, effective organization.
Equestrian trails groups can seek funding, engage partners, educate landowners and other trail users, raise public awareness, and provide support, both physical and political.
Using these guidelines is one part of a major endeavor to become successful. The other ingredients include a wide-reaching vision, cooperation, political savvy, and just sheer luck. Remembering there will be setbacks to deal with and brick walls to knock down will keep the group ready to face whatever comes along. One or a few people can start, but it will take a cooperative effort to accomplish the goal to assure horse trails in the future.
Published August 01, 2014
This February and March, over 120 advocates virtually hiked the halls of Congress to call for action to protect and expand access for all to public lands and trails. These efforts, led by the Partnership for the National Trails System and American Hiking Society, developed a series of common messages and legislative priorities for the coming Federal fiscal year. We encourage all of our partners to download the Hike the Hill materials now to help build a common agenda for the entire trails community.
Funding available for trail maintenance efforts on USFS lands.
American Trails contributor Josh Adams recently interviewed Lawrence Simonson, who serves as the Chief Strategy Officer of the PedNet Coalition, to talk pedestrian safety, projects and obstacles, and making a difference in Missouri.
Over the last two years American Trails has worked with Active Strategies to find out how we can best serve the trail community. These are the results.